Launch Vehicle Extreme Makeover:
A team of crack yet touchy feely Engineers arrive on a bus, send the NASA team to Disney World, tear everything apart, and employ John Carmak and XCOR Aerospace to rebuild everything…..It’ll all look nice, but doesn’t really need to work. Employ the typical attendees of the Space Access Conference as the mindless mob cheering the action on.
Big Brother, Space Station Edition:
Pick the hottest babes from an international set of scientists, one grumpy Russian, a cut party animal fighter jock from the US Navy and lock them in an orbital space station for one month of intense competition. Make them execute complex, obscure, yet useless tasks that employ almost none of the skills they developed thus far in their lives. Every week someone is voted out the airlock.
The Gong Panel:
A panel of three PI’s from past obscure space missions completed at least a decade ago decide the fate of proposed programs as they are presented live on stage. The proposed project with the highest score wins funding. At any time during the presentation panel members are allowed to reject the proposal by banging a gong.
I think this would go a long way towards making space more relevant to the general public. Heck, it would make me pay more attention to it.
Don’t give PAO any ideas.
[Late morning update]
Here is the full story on the president’s remarks.
He said nothing about whether he wants to continue the Bush administration’s Constellation program, intended to send astronauts to the moon by 2020. The program’s Ares I rocket is behind schedule and over budget, leading to speculation that it will miss its targeted 2015 launch date and further reduce the skilled work force at KSC.
He was also silent about the fate of the $100billion international space station. Once the shuttle is retired, NASA will depend on Russian Soyuz spacecraft for access to the station.
I’ve been trying, ever since the inauguration, to figure out if the plan is to come up with a new direction for the agency, and then find an administrator to implement it, or to find a good administrator, and direct him (or her) to come up with the plan. Or, given a lot of the other Charlie Foxtrot that’s been going on in general, if there is no plan.